Stephen Cobley

Steve is now in his third decade of criminal defence work. He has the portfolio of cases of an accomplished advocate and a consequent wide-ranging knowledge across the criminal spectrum.

He joined Castle Gate Chambers in May 2022 after 6 years at the Bar. Prior to this he had been a solicitor- advocate for 11 years and a criminal defence solicitor for the preceding 8. This depth of experience provides an invaluable insight into the preparation and presentation of defence cases.

During a recent appeal case in the Royal Courts of Justice Steve’s submissions were described by the Court as tenacious and valiant. He continues to demonstrate commitment to the administration of justice and the best interests of his lay clients through hard work, patience, and where appropriate compassion. His goal is to provide a first-rate service.

He is regularly instructed in complex multi handed conspiracy cases, involving allegations such as large-scale importation of class A drugs, money laundering, violent disorder, inner city gun crime, and fraudulent trading.

Stephen Cobley

Outside of work Steve likes to spend time with his family. He “enjoys” road cycling. Particularly on the sun baked roads of Northern Majorca. He is looking forward to a brighter future for Derby County.

Inn: Middle Temple

Solicitors and other practising lawyers are invited to contact the clerks on: +44 (0)115 824 9090

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Recent Cases

A small selection of recent cases is set out below to give a flavour of the variety and measure of the complexity of Steve’s caseload.

20 defendant conspiracy to steal and launder money trial. One of 3 directors alleged to have planned and executed a multi-million-pound scheme to defraud Network Rail and launder the proceeds through international financial transactions. Vast amounts of business documentation, considerable mobile telephone evidence, CCTV footage and cell site evidence. Complex issues of forensic accountancy. Successful half time submission on money laundering and acquittal by jury.
Allegation of kidnap of a child, administering noxious substances and rape. Delicate case involving heighted tensions in local community.
s.18 assault allegation against female defendant. Trained accountant was alleged to have driven into V at place of work causing serious injuries after discovering her husband’s infidelity. Crown persuaded to accept public order offence at trial.
Importation of prohibited firearms and child sex dolls by D with paranoid schizophrenia. Use of ammunition in public. Successful exceptional circumstances argument to avoid mandatory minimum custodial sentence. Complex legal issues relating to fitness to plead, nature of Firearms and appropriate disposal.
Attempted murder allegation. Inter family feud between travelling community brothers. Following an arranged meeting at a site V was shot by a member of D’s family. Issues of joint enterprise, fitness to plead and causation.
Multi handed trial involving allegations of blackmail, kidnap and people trafficking. Derby based D reported son kidnapped. Subsequent analysis of mobile phones purported to show D was complicit in a scheme to defraud police of ransom money. D alleged to be involved in people trafficking offences. Evidence adduced from Interpol and child protection agencies from the “jungle” in Calais. Acquitted by jury following 5 week trial.
D was said to be part of a wide ranging conspiracy to manufacture & supply synthetic cannabinoids or “Spice” throughout the midlands. Agreement was said to be run via D’s cousin from within her majesty’s prisons with D organising importation and international money transfers. Acquitted by jury.
Conspiracy to murder. Violent disorder. Pevert course of justice. Murder of 19 year old in stabbing incident following world championship boxing bout and mass brawl thereafter.

 Highly charged & sensitive case. D’s successfully raise self-defence amid allegations of racism.
Death by dangerous driving. 14 year old victim. Complex evidence surrounding speed, impact and causation. Appealed to C of A surrounding use of improperly obtained evidential
samples. Now reported at [2019] EWCA Crim 1553.
Drugs Conspiracies - From Operation Fearless in the early 2000s involving the importation of multiple kilos of class A drugs and the validity of foreign intercept evidence under RIPA, through the cracking of the “R1” line in Nottinghamshire- termed one of the biggest drugs rings in the County by the police, to the more recent Operation Silentpool -said to be the largest cocaine conspiracy seen in the Midlands. Invariably these cases involve vast quantities of technical evidence which needs to be assimilated and thousands of pages of evidence to be marshalled. Those involved in this type of work will know the challenges involved.
The Derby Police station bomb hoaxer. A chronically mentally ill man entered St Marys Warf police station with a package and a sign saying “Bomb”. The police station and surrounding streets were evacuated. As a result of his illness the D relied successfully on the defence of insanity and was acquitted by the jury. The presiding judge commented on the rarity of such cases.
Football Violence Offences- a large number of cases undertaken in the years preceding the global health emergency including:
R v GS
Defence of alleged football hooligan “Godfather” in West Midlands. Investigation over many years into organised international football violence.

Millwall “Bushwackers”. Violent disorder in numerous cities throughout England.
R v TG
Derby Lunatic Fringe hooligans in violent disorder with Nottingham Forest. Regular defence in various trials. TG case involved allegation of arranged meet. Acquitted after trial by jury. RvL
West Hams Inter City firm- again various trials around England. Televised scenes of disorder on live television broadcast from the first game at West Hams new London Stadium.
Arsenal's “Herd”- disorder with Chelsea hooligans. Violent disorder trial. Disorder in Covent Garden with Totenham supporters- multi handed trial.
Birmingham City Zulus. Large scale city centre violence with various opponents in both England and Wales. Aquitted by jury after trial.
West Bromwich Albion organised violence following games with Aston Villa